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Say Hello to America’s Least-Taxed Corporation: Charter/Spectrum’s 2017 U.S. Tax Rate Was -883.95%

Phillip Dampier November 8, 2018 Charter Spectrum, Public Policy & Gov't 1 Comment

(Source: Wallethub)

When Charter Communications CEO Thomas Rutledge met with President Donald Trump in early 2017, he probably did not realize just how much the Trump Administration was prepared to reward America’s second largest cable company.

After collecting a $98 million dollar compensation package for himself by successfully pulling off acquisitions of Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks, Rutledge today presides over America’s least taxed corporation. In fact, the American people owe Charter a significant ‘refund’ after the company achieved a negative overall U.S. tax rate of -883.95%.

WalletHub analyzed annual reports for the S&P 100 — the largest and most established companies on the stock market — in order to determine the federal, state and international tax rates they paid in 2017.

Charter’s tax accountants took full advantage of the Trump Administration’s permanent corporate tax cuts, which lowered corporate tax rates from 35% to 21%. But Republicans who supported the corporate tax cuts left intact most of the generous corporate deductions, offsets, and other credits that ensured few of America’s top corporations ever paid anything close to 35%. As a result, the lowered tax rate combined with what critics call “corporate welfare and giveaways” allow a growing number of companies to not pay a penny in taxes. In fact, many will be in the enviable position of avoiding taxes and still getting an effective ‘refund’ worth billions.

Companies that are required to regularly invest in their businesses and buy equipment, hardware, and other tangibles as part of the cost of doing business are often the most generously rewarded. Tax deductions originally intended to inspire corporate spending during tougher economic times are great news for companies that have significant capital investments. Most of these companies planned on making those investments with or without a tax break, but all are welcome to the idea of using those investments to reduce their effective tax rate to zero. Charter’s acquisitions of Time Warner Cable and Bright House came with the understanding both systems needed substantial upgrades — spending Charter is using to offset taxes not just this year, but several years in the future.

The next least-taxed company was Kraft Heinz, which was taxed at -98.7%. Other big winners are AT&T (-98.36%), Comcast (-55.59%), and Verizon (-51.36%). AT&T and Verizon are frequent winners of an effective tax rate of 0.00% because of the substantial deductions available to both as a result of continually upgrading their highly profitable cellular networks.

Source: WalletHub
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Thomas
Thomas
9 months ago

Tax preparation service is very important. You can both use software and service to have your tax report done.

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  • txpatriot: Thanx for the links -- I haven't had time to review all of them but I did look at the "Corporate Tax Dodgers Report". It confirmed one of my assumpti...
  • Willliam Gray: Imagine the day Verizon and AT&T control communications for this nation. Imagine their dis-interest in how high prices go and how helpless those ...
  • Bette: All you Verizon workers should really be paying attention to what's being said here. I retired from NYNEX after 36 years - then they became Bell At...
  • Scott: Yeah, the taxes and fee's are ridiculous, I double checked and you're looking at up to 50% of your monthly phone line in just taxes/regulatory state/f...
  • Mary: I am going to sell all my stock after working 29 years for this company I am retired and scared to death I will have to pay for it.. I get 9,000 a yea...
  • rjdafoe: I can't understand why you can't see it. They paid zero corporate taxes, and still received a refund from the IRS. Wether it is correct, I don't kno...
  • Michael Elling (@Infostack): Scott, great points. Forgot about all those ridiculous local taxes and USF fees. There is so much regulatory bloat, so that's why Google let's the u...
  • William T.: Seidenberg received 20.2 million dollars for services from Verizon his last year of service. I've been retired since 1985 with no increase in my pe...
  • Scott: Actually I'd dispute the perceived value in the triple play with phone included. The problem with including the phone is all the taxes associated with...
  • Jay S: From an accounting perspective, one generally would not call the use of an 'asset depreciation schedule' an example of corporate welfare. I don't se...
  • Phillip Dampier: You and I don't have millions to spend (also a writeoff) on lobbyists to cook the tax system to our favor. AT&T and Verizon do. Verizon has not pa...
  • txpatriot: And by the way, a refund doesn't necessarily mean taxpayers are subsidizing AT&T. All it means is that AT&T paid more in taxes than it was le...

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